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Tribute to Eryl Holt as she retires from teaching perinatal yoga

I have a vivid memory of meeting Eryl at one of my early short courses on yoga for pregnancy within the Yoga Biomedical Trust Diploma course in Yoga Therapy, that was the first in the UK, pioneered by Dr Robin Monro in London.  This was in the mid 1990s, with yoga for pregnancy still very much under the radar then. I tentatively ventured to show the Charlie Chaplin walk as a resource to help babies engage better in the pelvis during early labour and keep women active with a pinch of fun. There was some frowning in the group of dedicated yoga therapists in training, soon to be replaced with smiles and even laughter as they got into the rhythm and could appreciate the effects of this ‘funny walk’ (as it got called at the time) to differentiate it from the ‘serious yoga’. 

Eryl went ahead to develop her collaboration with Marion Symes, a midwife-yoga teacher on the same course, and they both became trainers in the budding Birthlight family with courses in Northern Ireland in 2003 and 2004.  When Eryl, who was then working as a comic actor on TV, expressed doubts about whether teaching yoga for pregnancy was a possible path for her since she did not have babies, I reassured her that some of the best midwives in history did not have children of their own. You do not need to be a mother to inspire mothers to be! I am so happy that Eryl chose to believe me and went on to have a rewarding life path teaching pregnant women and new mums, creating beautiful DVDs (3 Little Gems Yoga DVDs on pregnancy, labour and postnatal yoga with Marion Symes) that Birthlight has distributed widely for home users.

As Eryl is now retiring from teaching classes, I would like to honour her contribution to Birthlight, not just in collaboration with Marion but just for all the fun, joy and lightness of being as well as excellent yoga that she extended to so many women, families and other teachers around her. As a creative author and performer, I am sure that there are more surprises up her sleeve and more giggles in store… Thank you Eryl for sharing and spreading fun with your unique tongue in cheek smiles and enjoy your best years to come from your delightful Box Cottage home!

With love and thanks